Today, March 28, 2011, the judges of the 2011 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature announced the shortlist of the winners of the three genre categories. These are now finalists for the overall prize, which comes with an award of US$10,000.
Nobel laureate Derek Walcott (St. Lucia) is the poetry category winner for his book White Egrets, which has already won the prestigious T.S. Eliot Prize. The OCM Bocas Prize judges call it “a superb collection . . . that speaks for all of us who live and love and can’t ever take our eyes off the wonder of the world around us.”
Edwidge Danticat (Haiti/USA), who was previously given a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award” in 2009, is the non-fiction category winner for the 2011 OCM Bocas Prize, for her essay collection Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work. The judges describe the book as “thoughtful, interesting, and varied in its insights, often moving, and beautifully written, in a passionate yet restrained style.”
The fiction category winner is How to Escape a Leper Colony, the debut short fiction collection by Tiphanie Yanique (U.S. Virgin Islands). “Extremely touching but never sentimental,” say the judges, “this is a wonderfully engaging gathering of stories by a genuinely gifted writer.”
The overall winner of the 2011 OCM Bocas Prize will be announced on April 30, during the first annual Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain (28 April to 1 May). The festival schedule includes readings from all three shortlisted books, and Tiphanie Yanique will participate in the programme.